Today, Behavioral-Based Interviewing (BBI) is the most commonly used campus interviewing technique. Corporate recruiters spend anywhere from half a day to two days learning to ask questions based on the BBI method. For you, acing the BBI is a matter of planning and understanding what recruiters are looking for.
It’s simple. The best predictor of future behavior is recent past behavior. For example, you have a friend who is always late to class. What’s the likelihood that she’ll be late to class tomorrow?
That’s the principle of BBI. Interviewers want to get a picture of how you have behaved (recently) in a situation because it will help them determine how you’ll most likely behave in that same situation on the job.
Questions will always be asked in the past tense. For example:
Let’s say that I asked you to tell me about a time when you were a part of a difficult team and what you did to get the team back on track. Corporate recruiters want your answers to include the following:
Whenever possible, use examples from your internship, class work, professional association, or other work/degree-related experiences. Before going to an interview, stop and think of some of your most important milestones: projects, grades, presentations, work experiences that make you most proud. Build your examples around these when answering questions. Always use your best examples and concisely tell the story to the recruiter.
Caution: Corporate recruiters spend hours being trained to ask legal questions. Keep your answers focused on recent job-related experiences, professional association experiences or classroom examples. Do your very best NOT to use personal or family examples, examples from religious organizations or nondegree related association examples. And, when deciding whether to use an example from something you did when you were in high school vs. college—use the most recent example.
To prepare, look at the job description (if one is available—if not, use the ad for the job as a basis) and think of the best example to demonstrate that you have each attribute. In addition, there are some standard attributes that many companies look for, such as the following:
Dana Pulliam, senior manager of university relations for Applied Biosystems, offers the following tips: